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High-quality outcome measures

SEER Standards

  • Researchers must clearly define the outcome constructs of interest to their study, selecting measures that are valid and reliable assessments of those constructs and are otherwise psychometrically sound.
  • Researchers must use outcome measures that are appropriate to the context of the intervention and the research participants.
  • Researchers must avoid outcome measures that are overaligned to the intervention being studied. (For more information on overalignment, consult the What Works Clearinghouse Standards Handbook.)
  • Researchers must include among their measures those that have practical significance to educators, parents, or other decision-makers, when such measures exist.
  • Researchers must examine both the immediate impact of their intervention on outcomes of interest as well as its impact on relevant distal outcomes and the potential that initial impacts may fade over time.


  • When feasible, researchers should pose, and design studies capable of developing rigorous answers to, questions about the impact of policies, practices, and interventions for different groups and subgroups of learners.


What We're Reading

IES Director Mark Schneider's May, 2020 blog "Making Common Measures More Common."

Last Modified: May 11, 2022